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Welcoming 2021 (Part 2)

TOMORROW we shall celebrate the Feast of the Santo Nino, so allow me to greet you all a blessed Feast Day, Viva Sto. Nino! Last week we started our reflection on how we could make each month of 2012 truly meaningful. In conclusion allow me to share with you the last six months of our yearlong journey …

JULY was originally known as Quintilis. When Julius Caesar updated the Roman calendar, he renamed this month after his own name. In our country we don’t have any big celebration but it is during this month that we celebrate the “International Day of Cooperatives” and “World Population Day”. Wow, what a combination! While pondering on this fact, I realized that with all our debates on Reproductive Health, we are reminded in this month that our population woes shouldn’t be an issue of family planning methodologies but an issue of how some of us would consume the resources of the world for personal gain and at the expense of others. The value of shared “human capital” in our cooperatives should readily be a solution.

This month of AUGUST is named in honor of Augustus Caesar, who reformed the calendar of Julius Caesar, and named this month from his own name. Moreover, we commemorate our National Heroes Day when we remember “the Cry of Pugad Lawin” by the Katipunan. So, in this month, let us ponder on what makes a true hero. And based on those we celebrate in this month we can say that a True Hero is a “being for others”, a “defender of the voiceless” and a “Person of Vision”. A true hero selflessly offers oneself for the sake of another especially those in need. A true hero fights for those who are neglected by society and are considered insignificant to the wellbeing of a community as a whole. A true hero is one who liberates society from blind adherence to the status quo. Finally, a hero helps us break free from the narrow confines of certain social structures that threaten viable avenues for growth and development by presenting the vast potentials lying before us.

The meaning of the Latin word, “septem” (in the etymology of SEPTEMBER) is “seven”. The word “septimus” means “seventh”. Originally, September was the seventh month of the calendar. Besides celebrating the Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary, we remember in this month the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People (our Ethnic Minorities). As one of the marginalized sectors in our society, I hope we could use this month in remembering that they too are our compatriots and that they deserve equal treatment under the law, and with more than 100 highland tribal groups which constitutes approximately 3% of the population, our role in preserving their cultural traditions is likewise preserving our heritage as a nation.

In latin “Octo” means eight. OCTOBER is therefore the eighth month of the old Roman calendar. As October is the tenth month in our calendar this seems rather strange. It is linked with autumn in the Northern hemisphere, while it is associated with the spring season in the Southern hemisphere. Though our Christmas preparations have gone in full swing in this month (which started way back in September … the start of the BER-Months), we use this month to celebrate the month of the Holy Rosary. As a country devoted to our beloved Mother Mary, let us use this month to commemorate this popular devotion. The family Rosary is one of the best prayers of the church. Prayer is intended to raise the mind to God and to take our thoughts away from the passing affairs of this world. The Rosary is long enough to engage our attention for a sufficient time to enable us to leave aside our worldly cares, and this is good for both body and soul. The indulgences of the Rosary are so great that the faithful ought to make use of this devotion for the relief of the souls in Purgatory.

The month of NOVEMBER has been derived from the Latin word “novem”, meaning nine. Its name remained intact even after January and February were added to the Roman calendar. Over and above our celebration of Bonifacio Day, this month is dedicated in remembrance of our beloved departed. All Souls and All Saints Day serves as a fitting reminder of a life we shared with those we loved in the hope of being with them in the company of our Heavenly Father in the life thereafter. Life on Earth is like a dress rehearsal before the real production, it is the practice before the actual game; the warm-up lap before the race begins. This life is the preparation for the next. And as such, let us constantly be reminded of the true meaning and purpose of life. After all, it is not counting the years that matters in life but how you put life to those years, and the month of November reminds us as such.

And, finally we conclude our reflection with DECEMBER. “Marvelous is the mystery proclaimed today: man’s nature is made new as God becomes man; he remains what he was and becomes what he was not. Yet each nature stays distinct and forever undivided” (Morning Prayer Antiphon). The birth of Jesus on Christmas Day may mean a lot of things to so many people … ranging from the spiritual to the material but this month remains as a season for us to celebrate the virtue of Giving, Love and Innocence. There you have it … Our 12 months of preparation this New Year. May the Good Lord be with us this 2021, and may all our hopes and aspirations this New Year find fruition in our midst.


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